A placement year is a great opportunity to build experience in and build your network before graduating from university, allowing you to have a step up before entering the work arena. A lot of the preparation can all be done from the comfort of your accommodation.
We hope the tips can help you with yur search for a placemtn while at university.
Preparation is Essential
The first step is deciding what areas you are interested in and what career you want to pursue. This can hard as a student who might be in their first or second year at university.
To start with you might not realise the range of different types of placements there are.
Our advice is to start by narrowing down the industries you are interested in and what locations you would like to go to, this as this could open you up globally.
Once you have his, you can now start searching for jobs.
Finding the Right Placement
There are a range of websites that can help you find a placement. To start you off we have listed a few below:
The best way to find the latest opening s is to sign up to al the websites mentioned above and any others you find as well any suggested by your universities. It worth actively to ensure you are applying early.
Always ensure you write down the deadline of job applications as they can easily get lost with all the others. The last thing you want is to find a job you really like and then forget to apply in time!
There are different ways of tracking the deadlines, it can be done through your phone or an app but most students create a simple excel spreadsheet and filter by recent deadline closes and then tick them off once completed.
This will help to ensure you apply for the most suitable placements
How you present yourself
Now you have found all the placements you want to apply for and have the dates of when to apply for, the next step is to give the best impression, and when we say that we mean your CV.
Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) is your opportunity to show a potential employer the skills you have, your experience. This is an attempt to showcase how you can add value to the role you are applying for. The CV needs to be professional and well presented for an employer.
The trick to writing a good CV is making it relevant to the employer you have sent it to. Showing experiences that directly relates to the role and using keywords they recognise are all essential to getting noticed.
Most companies will ask you to write a cover letter, in some cases this is more important than the CV, as it’s the first things they see and gives you the opportunity to summarise why you are a suitable candidate. Do not forget to add a cover letter!
Most universities offer a careers service to assist with CV’s and they have a lot of experience with both students and employers looking for students, so it is worth reaching out to them. The service is designed to help you so don’t be afraid to use it.
Do not expect to get every job you apply for, all candidates are expected to get rejections for a number of reasons. This is part of the process and will become more apparent when you speak to friends or students who have successfully got a placement.
Companies can receive thousands of applicants for their placements and it I not possible for everyone to be successful.
Try to learn from this and get feedback where possible and most of all don’t let it get you down or demotivate you.
This might seem obvious but be yourself during your interview, as that’s what the employer wants to see.
Employers can tell when someone is not being themselves as it will come out through the interview.
Being yourself will help to keep you relaxed and focused on the interview, interviews can be hard enough, let alone trying to be someone else at the same time.
Interviewers will expect you to have done some research about the company and will test you on this so be prepared. The more you know about the company the better you can answer the questions.
When researching we’d recommend fully understanding what the company has to offer with its product or services, how they are different to their competitors, and why you have applied for their company over others. If you can talk about a product of service of theirs with passion it will show you have taken an interest.
The best way to build rapport with your interviewer is engage and ask questions. This shows you have taken an interest and want to find out more. The quality of question is key, so we advise asking ones that are not obviously or easily available on the website.
A good question can leave the employer remembering you after the interview and with a good impression. Questions are expected so ask away!
Finally, be prepared, we cannot stress this enough. It is very evident for an interviewer if you have prepared for the interview or not. This is crucial and if not demonstrated you are setting yourself up to fail after all the hard work of applying.
There are a range of services at the university that can advise on preparing for interviews, such as mock interviews, what to do and not to do. Feel free to ask fellow students who are going through the same process on their experiences as they are going to be able to help a lot also.
The whole process can be long, with rejection and a lot of hard work but a goal well worth working for. During the process it is key not to compare yourself to others or focus on how they are doing as that will not help you to get a successful placement. Be yourself and from all of us at Meraki Student we whish you all the best on your search for a placement!